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The Mystery of Andree


The recent dispatch from Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, announcing the discovery near that place of the remains of three men and a number of strange instruments, may possibly be authentic information regarding the fate of M. Andree and his two companions. Shortly after the aeronauts left Spitzbergen, the wind changed from south to west, and would naturally carry them to a point somewhere near that mentioned in the dispatch. Then, the finding of a hut constructed of cloth and of instruments not known to the inhabitants of that part of the world, is just what would be expected if the party had perished on those inhospitable shores. However, an investigation is to be made, and if the information received is authentic, we may soon hear of the finding of the journal that will tell the thrilling story of the most adventurous journey of the century.

Andree, Strindberg, and Fraenckel (sic) left Dane's island, of the Spitzbergen group, on July 11, 1897, in a specially constructed balloon. For about an hour the frail conveyance was visible to the friends who watched its departure; then it vanished in the haze of the Arctic sea. Only one authentic message has since then been received from the travelers. It was this: "From Andree's Polar expedition to Aftonbladet, Stockholm, July 13, 12:30 p.m., 82 degrees, 2 minutes north latitude, 15 degrees 5 minutes east longitude; fine trip to the east 10 degrees south. Everything well on board. This is my third message by carrier pigeon."

Several searching parties have been trying to find traces of the balloon, but all in vain, and gradually the world settled down to the belief that the three adventurers had perished.

Andree himself, before leaving for the unknown regions, freely talked about the probability of never returning. But he added that something within prompted him to undertake the journey no matter what the outcome of it might be. And that prompting was to him irresistible.

Reproduced with permission: L.L. Lewis, Explorations (Newspaper Clippings Related to Polar Exploration), Vol. 1 & 2. University Archives, Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, KS.



Original Source:

Salt Lake News, Salt Lake City, UT. Feb. 15, 1899


Jennifer Holvoet, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

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